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Scribblings Online – Dec 2003

{mosimage}New Beginnings

This year has certainly been a year of big decisions and major changes in
our lives. We praise the Lord for his faithful care and direction.

No going back

When we wrote in April, we were beginning to face the possibility
that we might not be able to return to Africa and we asked you to pray
that the Lord would guide us clearly. Not long after writing, we heard that
SIL had decided not to return to Côte d'Ivoire this year.

Based on advice from other missionaries, we had always been planning
to leave Africa in mid 2005 for Christopher to begin year nine in Britain.
We now knew that it would be at least 2004 before we could get back
to Africa. As we reflected on our situation we concluded that returning
to Africa for such a short period would not be a wise use of our resources
and energy. So with a mixture of relief and disappointment we took
the decision that we should stay in the UK for the next few years at
least.

Was our time of full- time missions work now over, or should we continue
working with Wycliffe but based in Britain? Earlier in the year Paul
was able to get some career counseling within Wycliffe. The conclusion
was that he should move towards a role where his computing skills could
be more fully used. In the light of this he was asked to consider a
computer related role at the Wycliffe Centre. Around the same time
we learned that Africa Inland Mission was looking for someone to be
responsible for Information Technology (IT) at their International
office in Bristol.

Where next?

{mosimage}
As we reflected we reached a firm conviction that God had not called
us to move out of full-time mission work, but we still had to decide
whether to move up to the Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire border and remain
working with Wycliffe or to join the work of AIM and continue living
in Bristol. The decision was made harder by the recognition that either
choice would have profound implications in many areas. We sought advice
from Christian friends, thought deeply and prayed that God would show
us which way to go. We concluded that God was ready to bless us in
either path and had left the decision to us. Finally, just days before
Luke was born, we decided to join AIM and remain in Bristol.

Luke arrives

Luke Samuel Shaddick arrived on May 15th – exactly the day he
was due – weighing 6lb 9oz (2980g). Although Margo wouldn't say
it was easy, he did conveniently wait just long enough to let us drop
Christopher and Emma at school on the way to the hospital! Thank you
to all who sent gifts and cards after his birth.

Like his brother and sister before him, Luke hasn't been a very good
sleeper, but he does seem to be a very happy baby most of the time
and is bringing us all a lot of joy. He was a little slow to begin
gaining weight at first, but has certainly made up for it since. We
hope you enjoy the pictures on the front page. If you would like to
see them in colour take a look at the versions of this newsletter on
our web site: www.shaddick.net There are '.pdf' format files there
too, which you can use to print a colour version of this newsletter,
perhaps for your church notice board.

New Work

I (Paul) began working at the AIM International office in June. It
is quite a small office with only a dozen people working there, but
it coordinates the whole mission's work in more than a dozen African
countries and eleven sending countries worldwide. I am the first person
the mission has had in this role so there is plenty to do. Last week
I presented my first set of recommendations to the International IT
committee. These were discussed and mostly adopted as resolutions which
will form the basis of our IT strategy over the coming year.

{mosimage}
In February I will be travelling to Kenya for a couple of weeks to
attend the African Executive Officers' Forum and probably to carry
out an IT audit of one of the offices there.

Another important part of my job is developing systems for use internationally.
Currently I am working on an international web site, an organisational
intranet and a system to match up available personnel with personnel
needs throughout the organisation.

Sometimes people express the view that missions should commit the
fewest possible resources to administration and support roles, particularly
in 'home' countries. Someone suggested to me that such people should
think about how effective the British armed forces would be if all
personnel were sent to the front line and there was no such thing as
the Ministry of Defence.

House Headaches

Just to add a little more to our cumulative stress levels we are
trying to move house! We have been living in rented houses since 1991
and with the decision to stay in Bristol, we were looking forward to
moving in to our own place. The first step was to sell the house in
Bridgend that we began buying when we got married. Unfortunately our
tenants refused to move out and only finally left when we threatened
legal action. Finally in August, we were able to begin applying all
Margo had learned from watching House Doctor on television. Over about
six weeks, with lots of help from parents and friends, we fitted a
new kitchen, painted every room and replaced all the carpets. By the
time we had finished we almost wished we were moving in ourselves.
Within a week of putting it on the market in mid September, we had
a buyer and soon afterwards we found a house to buy in Bradley Stoke
and agreed a price, so we hoped that we might be in our own home by
Christmas. In mid-October the sale fell through, but within a couple
of weeks we had a new buyer. As we write, it looks like that sale should
be completed before Christmas, but unfortunately the people we are
hoping to buy from have still not found a house to buy. We have begun
looking again, but still hope that we can buy the first house. How
long should we be willing to wait? Please pray with us that this might
be resolved soon.

Bhete News

Carlos is continuing work to complete his Doctoral thesis in Bhete
phonology. The major need before he can start Bible translation is
a suitable speaker of the Gbadi dialect to work with him.

If you get our e-mail news you will know that Carlos and Mariam's
little son David has had problems with properly controlling his foot
ever since being given an injection in his bottom for a high fever.
When I visited they were already seeing some improvement from physiotherapy.

Eliezer is taking an eight week course in computer maintenance. He
already has some skills in using computers, but -A "Zo "De
feels it is important to have someone with more understanding of how
to fix computer problems. We promised to help them find funds to cover
this course and would be happy to pass on any gifts. The total cost
including accommodation and course materials is about £500.

 

{mosimage}Christopher & Emma: We are sure
you will agree with us that Luke is the cutest baby ever! He is also
the cleverest so
we decided to let him write the ShadKids bit
this time. Over to you Luke. . .

Luke: aawaawooo

Emma: Wow, Luke speaks Bhete! But perhaps we still
need to do this bit for those people who don't understand Bhete baby
talk. Let's tell people
what we've been up to
since last time.

Chris – to my friends
but Christopher to my
parents:

Well, we both
had fun at camp in Wales during the summer with our cousins. Then I started
at Patchway High
School in September. I enjoy having lots of different lessons and teachers.
I'm learning German because I already know French, and I'm also learning
to play steel
drums.

Emma: I am in my last year at Holy Trinity primary school. I am house
captain and my house is called Luke! Can you guess what the other three
houses are called? This
term I've been busy with rehearsals for our school play: 'Oliver!' I
played one of Fagin's gang and Bet who is Nancy's friend. If you don't
know who Nancy is, then you
need to rent the video! I've got my SATs coming up and hope I can do
as well as Christopher.

Travelling Home

I've ticked off almost everything now… Emma's roller blades
that she's hardly used yet; Christopher's Lego; some of their first
books – Luke will enjoy them soon; Margo's food processor; a
special table cloth; a carved wooden elephant; Emma's sparkly top.
But what is really precious to me? What can I fit within my luggage
allowance? A few computer books – not exactly pre-
cious but expensive to replace – and ah yes, the little copy of Pilgrim's
Progress which I won as a Sunday School prize for the FIEC Scripture
Exam when I was 9 years old.

{mosimage}
John Bunyan captured so well the essence of the Christian life. Though
relieved of his burden early in his journey when he passed through
the wicket gate and climbed up to the cross,
Christian still had a long journey through many difficult places before
he finally reached the City of the King.

During a 10 day trip to Abidjan at the beginning of October I sold
or gave away almost all the furniture, appliances, books, toys and
clothes that we'd had to leave behind when we evacuated from Abidjan
a year ago. It was painful at times – sorting the toys even brought
me to tears one day. Saying goodbye to good friends
is a recurring sadness of missionary life, but this
time I was the one leaving and I wondered just who I might meet again
before we all reach the end of this life's journey.

It was a real blessing to see how God is at work amongst the Bhete
people stirring them up to support the ongoing work of literacy and
Bible Translation. I was astonished when they
organised a reception to bid me farewell and 150 people turned up from
all over Abidjan as well as from Gagnoa. It was moving and humbling
to hear many people speak of their commitment to seeing God's translated
Word in Bhete changing their society for good. "We have spent
enough on our dead," said one man
referring to the huge amounts of money spent on elaborate funerals, "it's
time we Bhete used our money for the benefit of the living!" Although
we are now based in the UK we shall be continuing to follow and support
the Bhete work and will
keep you updated on how things are going.

We had expected that our path would lead us back to live and work
again in Africa this Autumn, but the Lord has led us down a different
road. We have learned that some of our supporters don't feel they can
continue to accompany us. In some cases we can fully understand the
reasons, but in some very significant cases we have been painfully
surprised. It is tempting to dwell on the cost and to worry about where
we will find the means to continue along the path of mission whilst
based in the UK, but just as through prayer Christian found the key
called promise which enabled him to break out of Doubting Castle, so
we will continue to trust in God's promise to supply all our needs
according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Côte d'Ivoire is still a divided country. Two days ago 19 people
were killed when masked men tried to take over the TV station in Abidjan,
but as we write today it appears that rebel and
government forces have finally begun to disarm. Please keep praying.

The Bottom £ine

Some have been asking how we are financed within
AIM. Although AIM pays us a salary as members we
must have individual support to cover that salary and
a contribution towards the mission's other costs. Like
Wycliffe, AIM is a 'faith mission' which means that
we each look to the Lord to provide our finances
through churches and individuals, but agree not to ask
for money. Some who gave us financial support when
we were with Wycliffe are now supporting us through
AIM, but overall we appear to have lost a lot of support. As a consequence
we are building up an increasing debt to AIM each month.

We firmly
believe that
the Lord wants us where we are, serving in the AIM
International office, and will provide for our needs,
but on a human level we are discouraged that our support is currently falling so short. We know that we
cannot continue with AIM unless gifts come in to
cover the red balance we have built up and meet our
future costs. So please pray with us that the Lord will
move churches and individuals to commit themselves
to regular giving.

{mosimage}
Gifts towards our support can be sent to the AIM UK Office:

AIM UK, Halifax Place, Nottingham NG1 1QN
Tel: 0115 9838120

Please indicate who your gift is for. Note that, if you are
a UK taxpayer, a simple gift aid declaration can greatly increase its
value to us.

Pray with us…

Sunday For a real and lasting
peace in Côte
d'Ivoire. Pray that both sides will see their
faults and be willing to compromise.
Monday For Carlos' work to complete
his doctorate
and for little David's full healing.
Tuesday Giving thanks for our three
children and
asking that they will grow in their
knowledge and trust of God.
Wednesday That our house sale and purchase
can be
completed before too much longer.
Thursday For Margo as she interacts with
non-Christian mums in the church toddler group
which she helps run.
Friday For Paul as he continues to
help the mission
work of AIM through leadership in the
area of IT and as he travels to Kenya in
February.
Saturday Thanking the Lord for leading
us to the
new work with AIM and praying for the
support we need to continue working with
them

 

 

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Scribblings Online – Dec 2003

{mosimage}New Beginnings

This year has certainly been a year of big decisions and major changes in
our lives. We praise the Lord for his faithful care and direction.

No going back

When we wrote in April, we were beginning to face the possibility
that we might not be able to return to Africa and we asked you to pray
that the Lord would guide us clearly. Not long after writing, we heard that
SIL had decided not to return to Côte d'Ivoire this year.

Based on advice from other missionaries, we had always been planning
to leave Africa in mid 2005 for Christopher to begin year nine in Britain.
We now knew that it would be at least 2004 before we could get back
to Africa. As we reflected on our situation we concluded that returning
to Africa for such a short period would not be a wise use of our resources
and energy. So with a mixture of relief and disappointment we took
the decision that we should stay in the UK for the next few years at
least.

Was our time of full- time missions work now over, or should we continue
working with Wycliffe but based in Britain? Earlier in the year Paul
was able to get some career counseling within Wycliffe. The conclusion
was that he should move towards a role where his computing skills could
be more fully used. In the light of this he was asked to consider a
computer related role at the Wycliffe Centre. Around the same time
we learned that Africa Inland Mission was looking for someone to be
responsible for Information Technology (IT) at their International
office in Bristol.

Where next?

{mosimage}
As we reflected we reached a firm conviction that God had not called
us to move out of full-time mission work, but we still had to decide
whether to move up to the Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire border and remain
working with Wycliffe or to join the work of AIM and continue living
in Bristol. The decision was made harder by the recognition that either
choice would have profound implications in many areas. We sought advice
from Christian friends, thought deeply and prayed that God would show
us which way to go. We concluded that God was ready to bless us in
either path and had left the decision to us. Finally, just days before
Luke was born, we decided to join AIM and remain in Bristol.

Luke arrives

Luke Samuel Shaddick arrived on May 15th – exactly the day he
was due – weighing 6lb 9oz (2980g). Although Margo wouldn't say
it was easy, he did conveniently wait just long enough to let us drop
Christopher and Emma at school on the way to the hospital! Thank you
to all who sent gifts and cards after his birth.

Like his brother and sister before him, Luke hasn't been a very good
sleeper, but he does seem to be a very happy baby most of the time
and is bringing us all a lot of joy. He was a little slow to begin
gaining weight at first, but has certainly made up for it since. We
hope you enjoy the pictures on the front page. If you would like to
see them in colour take a look at the versions of this newsletter on
our web site: www.shaddick.net There are '.pdf' format files there
too, which you can use to print a colour version of this newsletter,
perhaps for your church notice board.

New Work

I (Paul) began working at the AIM International office in June. It
is quite a small office with only a dozen people working there, but
it coordinates the whole mission's work in more than a dozen African
countries and eleven sending countries worldwide. I am the first person
the mission has had in this role so there is plenty to do. Last week
I presented my first set of recommendations to the International IT
committee. These were discussed and mostly adopted as resolutions which
will form the basis of our IT strategy over the coming year.

{mosimage}
In February I will be travelling to Kenya for a couple of weeks to
attend the African Executive Officers' Forum and probably to carry
out an IT audit of one of the offices there.

Another important part of my job is developing systems for use internationally.
Currently I am working on an international web site, an organisational
intranet and a system to match up available personnel with personnel
needs throughout the organisation.

Sometimes people express the view that missions should commit the
fewest possible resources to administration and support roles, particularly
in 'home' countries. Someone suggested to me that such people should
think about how effective the British armed forces would be if all
personnel were sent to the front line and there was no such thing as
the Ministry of Defence.

House Headaches

Just to add a little more to our cumulative stress levels we are
trying to move house! We have been living in rented houses since 1991
and with the decision to stay in Bristol, we were looking forward to
moving in to our own place. The first step was to sell the house in
Bridgend that we began buying when we got married. Unfortunately our
tenants refused to move out and only finally left when we threatened
legal action. Finally in August, we were able to begin applying all
Margo had learned from watching House Doctor on television. Over about
six weeks, with lots of help from parents and friends, we fitted a
new kitchen, painted every room and replaced all the carpets. By the
time we had finished we almost wished we were moving in ourselves.
Within a week of putting it on the market in mid September, we had
a buyer and soon afterwards we found a house to buy in Bradley Stoke
and agreed a price, so we hoped that we might be in our own home by
Christmas. In mid-October the sale fell through, but within a couple
of weeks we had a new buyer. As we write, it looks like that sale should
be completed before Christmas, but unfortunately the people we are
hoping to buy from have still not found a house to buy. We have begun
looking again, but still hope that we can buy the first house. How
long should we be willing to wait? Please pray with us that this might
be resolved soon.

Bhete News

Carlos is continuing work to complete his Doctoral thesis in Bhete
phonology. The major need before he can start Bible translation is
a suitable speaker of the Gbadi dialect to work with him.

If you get our e-mail news you will know that Carlos and Mariam's
little son David has had problems with properly controlling his foot
ever since being given an injection in his bottom for a high fever.
When I visited they were already seeing some improvement from physiotherapy.

Eliezer is taking an eight week course in computer maintenance. He
already has some skills in using computers, but -A "Zo "De
feels it is important to have someone with more understanding of how
to fix computer problems. We promised to help them find funds to cover
this course and would be happy to pass on any gifts. The total cost
including accommodation and course materials is about £500.

 

{mosimage}Christopher & Emma: We are sure
you will agree with us that Luke is the cutest baby ever! He is also
the cleverest so
we decided to let him write the ShadKids bit
this time. Over to you Luke. . .

Luke: aawaawooo

Emma: Wow, Luke speaks Bhete! But perhaps we still
need to do this bit for those people who don't understand Bhete baby
talk. Let's tell people
what we've been up to
since last time.

Chris – to my friends
but Christopher to my
parents:

Well, we both
had fun at camp in Wales during the summer with our cousins. Then I started
at Patchway High
School in September. I enjoy having lots of different lessons and teachers.
I'm learning German because I already know French, and I'm also learning
to play steel
drums.

Emma: I am in my last year at Holy Trinity primary school. I am house
captain and my house is called Luke! Can you guess what the other three
houses are called? This
term I've been busy with rehearsals for our school play: 'Oliver!' I
played one of Fagin's gang and Bet who is Nancy's friend. If you don't
know who Nancy is, then you
need to rent the video! I've got my SATs coming up and hope I can do
as well as Christopher.

Travelling Home

I've ticked off almost everything now… Emma's roller blades
that she's hardly used yet; Christopher's Lego; some of their first
books – Luke will enjoy them soon; Margo's food processor; a
special table cloth; a carved wooden elephant; Emma's sparkly top.
But what is really precious to me? What can I fit within my luggage
allowance? A few computer books – not exactly pre-
cious but expensive to replace – and ah yes, the little copy of Pilgrim's
Progress which I won as a Sunday School prize for the FIEC Scripture
Exam when I was 9 years old.

{mosimage}
John Bunyan captured so well the essence of the Christian life. Though
relieved of his burden early in his journey when he passed through
the wicket gate and climbed up to the cross,
Christian still had a long journey through many difficult places before
he finally reached the City of the King.

During a 10 day trip to Abidjan at the beginning of October I sold
or gave away almost all the furniture, appliances, books, toys and
clothes that we'd had to leave behind when we evacuated from Abidjan
a year ago. It was painful at times – sorting the toys even brought
me to tears one day. Saying goodbye to good friends
is a recurring sadness of missionary life, but this
time I was the one leaving and I wondered just who I might meet again
before we all reach the end of this life's journey.

It was a real blessing to see how God is at work amongst the Bhete
people stirring them up to support the ongoing work of literacy and
Bible Translation. I was astonished when they
organised a reception to bid me farewell and 150 people turned up from
all over Abidjan as well as from Gagnoa. It was moving and humbling
to hear many people speak of their commitment to seeing God's translated
Word in Bhete changing their society for good. "We have spent
enough on our dead," said one man
referring to the huge amounts of money spent on elaborate funerals, "it's
time we Bhete used our money for the benefit of the living!" Although
we are now based in the UK we shall be continuing to follow and support
the Bhete work and will
keep you updated on how things are going.

We had expected that our path would lead us back to live and work
again in Africa this Autumn, but the Lord has led us down a different
road. We have learned that some of our supporters don't feel they can
continue to accompany us. In some cases we can fully understand the
reasons, but in some very significant cases we have been painfully
surprised. It is tempting to dwell on the cost and to worry about where
we will find the means to continue along the path of mission whilst
based in the UK, but just as through prayer Christian found the key
called promise which enabled him to break out of Doubting Castle, so
we will continue to trust in God's promise to supply all our needs
according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Côte d'Ivoire is still a divided country. Two days ago 19 people
were killed when masked men tried to take over the TV station in Abidjan,
but as we write today it appears that rebel and
government forces have finally begun to disarm. Please keep praying.

The Bottom £ine

Some have been asking how we are financed within
AIM. Although AIM pays us a salary as members we
must have individual support to cover that salary and
a contribution towards the mission's other costs. Like
Wycliffe, AIM is a 'faith mission' which means that
we each look to the Lord to provide our finances
through churches and individuals, but agree not to ask
for money. Some who gave us financial support when
we were with Wycliffe are now supporting us through
AIM, but overall we appear to have lost a lot of support. As a consequence
we are building up an increasing debt to AIM each month.

We firmly
believe that
the Lord wants us where we are, serving in the AIM
International office, and will provide for our needs,
but on a human level we are discouraged that our support is currently falling so short. We know that we
cannot continue with AIM unless gifts come in to
cover the red balance we have built up and meet our
future costs. So please pray with us that the Lord will
move churches and individuals to commit themselves
to regular giving.

{mosimage}
Gifts towards our support can be sent to the AIM UK Office:

AIM UK, Halifax Place, Nottingham NG1 1QN
Tel: 0115 9838120

Please indicate who your gift is for. Note that, if you are
a UK taxpayer, a simple gift aid declaration can greatly increase its
value to us.

Pray with us…

Sunday For a real and lasting
peace in Côte
d'Ivoire. Pray that both sides will see their
faults and be willing to compromise.
Monday For Carlos' work to complete
his doctorate
and for little David's full healing.
Tuesday Giving thanks for our three
children and
asking that they will grow in their
knowledge and trust of God.
Wednesday That our house sale and purchase
can be
completed before too much longer.
Thursday For Margo as she interacts with
non-Christian mums in the church toddler group
which she helps run.
Friday For Paul as he continues to
help the mission
work of AIM through leadership in the
area of IT and as he travels to Kenya in
February.
Saturday Thanking the Lord for leading
us to the
new work with AIM and praying for the
support we need to continue working with
them

 

 

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

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